I had always been on the plump side from my childhood and surprisingly it never bothered me too much. The one thing that did hurt however was never being the first choice for any team sports. This prompted me to work really hard on my sporting skills and even more on my interpersonal skills enabling me to atleast ensure that I was never the last one picked.
As I grew up, I did not go through a transformation and lose all that baby fat and turn into a chiselled hunk. I just about managed to be slightly overweight till I hit my growth spurt. Once the growth spurt took off, I did look leaner but still had comfortable loads of fat all over. It was never still and issue as I was smart!! I was also kinda a really good public speaker so had all the attention I needed. The extra kilos stopped bothering me less.
Then I grew!! As I got into my early 20s I had developed a really nice personality and was really fun to be around with. This allowed me to be even less concerned about my weight as i had it all going for me. A fun job, a string of short term girlfriends, steady income,,, What more could a 20 year old want? Is 80 kilos going to put a spanner in the works? I dint think so.
Then I hit my mid 20s. By now, I realised that my weight was becoming an issue mainly because all my friends were much thinner than me. I was officially everyones “fat friend”. My weight had hit 90 kilos. I realised it was time I made a few changes in my life. I now had an amazing sense of humour to go along with my personality as well. I learnt to brush aside all fat jokes and even could come up with better jokes than some of my so called “friends”. Self depriciating humour was the order of the day… I could serve it any time.
My late 20s brought about quite a few changes in my life. I returned from a 3rd academic stint in Europe to the monotonous life of a working professional in Dubai. As you all know, the early times in any city is exciting in terms of experiences but extremely dull in terms of a social life. This is where I realised a magical world that I never knew existed. I realised that you can actually go through 24 hours with doing the least amount of physical activity needed. I achieved Nirvana.
I had numerous “theories” for not getting involved in physical activities, some as simple as walking 3 minutes to the grocery shop near my flat (I used to call for home delivery). One of my most famous ones was where I used to compare myself to the majestic lion who slept most of the time and exerted himself only for sex and when fighting for his place as the king of the jungle. What I failed to notice was I was not even getting even that exercise. But the career, the amazing world that this country is and the 24 hour high speed internet really made me a nice comfy bean bag. (No, there is no typo there)
I was 28. Settled in my career. Family is after my case to get married. You know.. Usual Indian stuff. I was having so much fun in my life that I failed to notice a few things. My clothes sizes have been steadly increasing over the past few years, my wardrobe has diminished considerably because I could not find enough clothes that fit, I had to change 1 bed (The cheam aluminium ones) because it started to give way under the strain of my weight and I broke a plastic chair. I had to do something.. and I did. I brought my diet under control started to walk the 10 minutes to my flat from the metro station rather than take a taxi etc. It helped. I managed to stop my weight from increasing. I was just over a 100 kilos at this point.
Then another life changing incident happened. I had to undergo surgery. Bam!!! Bedridden for 3 months and advised against any major physical activity for another 6 months. All that hard work down the drain. Then what happened? I relapsed back into my old lifestyle. Afterall I had an excuse now din’t I?
Reaching 115 kilos in a year’s time did slowly start to make me realise that i should do something about my weight. The current weight did not allow me to spend time on the threadmill or in the gym as it was a huge strain on my knees and joints. Thats when I started yo-yo dieting. GM, Atkins, Caveman… You name it, I have tried it. It did help as I got temporary weight loss that did huge wonders for my self confidence.
I got married. Another reason to let go. My diet changed, my lifestyle changed and this is when i started noticing lots of issues with me. Healthwise that is, I am still that amazing guy with a heart for gold, wonderful personality and a sense of humour that is mindblowing. 😉
As I reached my 30s i crossed the 120 kilo barrier. I had to take stock of my life and get some discipline in it. I decided to list down what the weight gain was doing to my life. I infact put it down in 2 lists.
The first one was a list of daily routine stuff I could not do comfortably anymore. Some of them included:
- Climb a flight of stairs without panting
- Walk for 5 minutes without my back cramping up
- Walk into a store and immediately pick up clothes that fit
- Fit into a pair of my regular jeans after a wash
- Sit comfortable in a budget airline economy seat
The 2nd list was one where I listed stuff that I really wanted to do but could not anymore. This list made me extremely sad but somehow did not give me the required kick in the ass to do something about it. Some of them are:
- Am too heavy to be allowed to skydive
- Am too heavy to be able to paraglide or bunjee jump
- I could not climb the Great Wall of China completely eventhough I was there
- I will not be able to go down the tunnels in the Pyramids
- Any physical activity associated with travelling to my dream locations
Like i said, this made me sad but did not force to make any ground breaking changes. Then the unevitable happened. I got my kick in the ass this week.
I had to buy a blazer or a jacket for an important meeting tomorrow as my current ones did not fit properly anymore. I as usual walked into the stores where i do my shopping and proceeded to check out the blazers on display. I knew that finding a proper fit would be difficult so I let go of any preferences for colour, style, brand etc. I just wanted one that fit!!! But that was not to be.
This brings me to that one brand that changed my lifestyle. To get the jacket for my meeting I had to walk in to a store known as BIG & TALL. This is a store that caters to plus sized men who find it difficult to find clothes elsewhere. I finally did find clothes that fit me in the store but it wasn’t easy. According to the sales staff, I was a little too small for the sizes in the store. They dint have too much stuff that is small enough for me. I was relieved for a little while and then got thinking again.
If this goes on, I can only shop for clothes from this store. The increasing size would lead to more complications. Right now i have a few ningling physical issues, but it might trancend into full blown medical complications. Life would not be so fun anymore… and I love life!! So a decision was taken today. I am taking control of my life. Small steps at a time. Start using the huge pool my building has, dusting of the Nintendo Wii Fit U that I had bought fet months back and using it daily and put in a minimum of 30 minutes in the gym. Diet wise I have decided to completely quit any aereated beverages (Not soda though, I need it for my whiskey), load my diet with fruits and cut down on unnecessary snacking.
These maybe baby steps in the direction but they are steps. I have not planned for 6 pack abs or shapely buns as yet. I just want to be fit enough to do my routine tasks and dream tasks comfortably. I will be updating you guys weekly on how this is going on and what the current status is. Its good to have a large support group plus also, you guys wont let me live in peace once you know my actual weight. So, I start this journey today…
Thank you BIG & TALL. For the jacket I will be wearing and for the kick in the ass.
P.S My current weight is 127 kgs.